One of my dreams or goals is to reduce our household’s carbon footprint. I have been working on setting some smaller steps in place to help us get to that goal. John and I decided that we would buy a share in a farm collective, the Good Food Collective. We joined the collective and each week we will receive fresh, local, organic veggies at a Farmer’s Market located one block from where I work.
Because the spring was so rainy, the date for the first pickup of veggies was delayed by two weeks. John and I have been eagerly waiting for the day to arrive. Finally, on Thursday after work, we went to the Farmer’s Market to pick up our food. The South Wedge Farmer’s Market is small and quaint. Rochester is famous for its huge Public Market, which is one of the longest-running public markets in the country. We love to go to the Public Market on Saturday mornings and we really enjoyed giving this Farmer’s Market a try. The South Wedge Market is much different than the Public Market and visiting it was a lovely experience.
Even though we had read all about the food collective on the internet, we were not really sure what to expect. We entered the Farmer’s Market and quickly found the booth for our collective. There was a short line, so we were able to watch the other people and see how the process worked. When we reached the front of the line, we gave our name to a worker and he checked off week 1. We were told to look for the signs that said “Full Share” and take however many of each item the sign said. The first table we reached was filled with quarts of delicious-looking strawberries. The sign told us that we were allowed to take two quarts. Next, four bunches of Swiss Chard – we chose two yellow and two red. Two heads(?) of bok choy, a bag of garlic scapes, four (FOUR!) heads of gorgeous leaf lettuce, and two bunches of beets. We left the market with four bags brimming with beautiful produce.
One reason that we joined the collective was to experience new foods. I have never tasted swiss chard and I had never even heard of garlic scapes. Scapes are the tubers removed so that the plant can focus its energy on producing the cloves of garlic. Last night, John cooked the Swiss Chard and garlic scapes together with some garbanzo beans in a kind of “greens and beans” dish that was so super delicious that we all gobbled it up quickly. It tasted fresh and good and I could almost feel the vitamins nourishing my body. We ate some of the strawberries over vanilla ice cream for a simple and tasty dessert. Tonight, the bok choy and the remaining swiss chard went into a stir fry served over rice. Yummmmm. So far, I am loving this food collective.
Step one of our plan to reduce our carbon footprint seems to be a success. I want to be sure to use this food before it is time to pick up the next batch on Thursday. It would be a shame to let any go to waste. Fresh organic local food is a precious resource. I am thankful to the farmers who worked so hard to grow it and to the workers from the Good Food Collective who brought it to us and let us have access to such wonderful favorites and to new taste sensations.